Brantley (hamstring) lands on 10-day IL

Odorizzi eyes 'fresh start' ahead of Saturday's return outing

May 29th, 2021

HOUSTON -- The Astros placed outfielder Michael Brantley on the 10-day injured list Friday with tightness in his right hamstring. Brantley has been out of action since going 1-for-5 at designated hitter Sunday against the Rangers in Arlington.

Astros manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday that Brantley had leg soreness from playing the outfield on the artificial turf Friday and Saturday in Arlington. Brantley would be eligible to come off the injured list in time for the start of the impending road trip, which begins next Friday against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, N.Y.

The club recalled infielder Robel García from Triple-A prior to Friday’s game against the Padres.

Brantley is hitting .305 with three homers and 15 RBIs and is in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak (.333). Chas McCormick, who started Friday in left field, will probably get most of the starts in left while Brantley is out. Taylor Jones can also play left field.

Odorizzi rejoins rotation

Considering that he was signed to a two-year, $20.25 million contract in March, and the heavy expectations that came with it, right-hander Jake Odorizzi understands if Astros fans haven’t been thrilled at the return that he’s provided the club so far.

"I'm sure a lot of people in Houston don't really care for me right now,” he said Friday. “I sucked before I got hurt, and then I got hurt. Not exactly the intro I was looking to make, but thankfully I have the rest of this year and some years to come after that to hopefully put myself back in good graces. It starts tomorrow. I just want to go out and finish healthy and do well and give us a chance to win.”

Odorizzi, who went 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in three starts before suffering a right pronator muscle strain, returns to the mound Saturday when he’s activated off the injured list to face the Padres. It will be his first start since April 24.

“I feel like I got a fresh start to the season,” he said. “My first two starts to the season weren’t really what I was hoping for and I was still kind of building up [arm strength] at that point. Now I feel I have some base underneath me to go out, and hopefully I’ll have a good outing and move on from there. We’ll see how it goes, but physically, I’m happy with where I’m at.”

Odorizzi was expected to miss only two turns in the rotation when he was placed on the injured list April 26, but the Astros took his rehab slower than anticipated considering he ramped up faster than he typically would after signing with Houston on March 8. Odorizzi said that he could throw as many as 90 pitches Saturday.

“Just dictates how the game’s going,” he said. “I’ll just take it inning by inning and we’ll figure out at the end where we ended up.”

Odorizzi, 31, is coming off a season in which he pitched only 13 2/3 innings with the Twins due to three stints on the injured list, but he was an All-Star for Minnesota for the first time in 2019. That season, he went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA (128 ERA+) and 178 strikeouts in 159 innings.

Castro placed on injured list

The Astros placed backup catcher Jason Castro on the 10-day injured list Friday with left Achilles soreness. Castro would also be eligible to come off the injured list when Houston opens its series in Buffalo against the Blue Jays next Friday.

Castro, who has started 13 games this year, didn’t play in the two-game series against the Dodgers earlier this week. He last played Sunday in Arlington against the Rangers, going 1-for-2 with a run scored. He’s slashing .271/.397/.479 with two homers and eight RBIs in 48 at-bats this year.

To take Castro’s place, the Astros called up catcher Garrett Stubbs from Triple-A Sugar Land. Stubbs was hitting .333 at Sugar Land and logged an appearance as a pinch-runner for the Astros on April 14 against the Tigers. He spent the majority of last season on Houston’s Major League roster, hitting .125 in 14 games.